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Pompey Factor


U.S. Army
Medal Of Honor, Indian Campaigns

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On April 15, 1875, Lieutenant John Bullis was ordered to assemble a patrol of Seminole-Negro scouts under his command for a reconnaissance of the lower Pecos River area. He surprised Colonel William Shafter by selecting only three men for this dangerous mission: Sergeant John Ward, Private Pompey Factory, and Trumpeteer Isaac Payne. On April 16 the four troopers escorted a supply wagon train to Fort Stockton, remaining with it for six days before departing to scout the area on their return to Fort Clark. On April 26 they encountered a force of 25 Indians resting after crossing a river. Factor and Payne moved down to the rocks on either side of the encampment, and when they opened fire Bullis and Ward stampeded their horses. The first part of the engagement went as planned, but in the heated battle that followed the troopers were surprised to find that the Indian force, which outnumbered them five-to-one, was also armed with Winchester repeating rifles. While withdrawing under heavy fire and a rush of Indians, Lieutenant Bullis was knocked from his horse by a ricochet. The three scouts rushed to his aid under withering fire and while Factor held the Indians at bay, rescued the lieutenant. All three Scouts earned Medals of Honor.

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